Animal Services Trap Program is focused on prevention of rabies carrier animals coming in contact with companion animals and humans.
Live traps are a humane tool to capture and relocate wild or domestic animals. However, setting a live trap means accepting responsibility for the animal’s well being until the animal has been relocated by an Abilene Animal Services officer.
- Be sure you will be available to check the trap several times daily.
- Keep in mind the Animal Shelter’s trapping hours of operations are 9 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. A trap will not be serviced after 4:30 pm and will not be picked up Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays.
- Research information about the animal you intend to catch.
Abilene Animal services makes High Risk Rabies carrier traps available for citizens, or individuals may purchase traps from private dealers. To obtain a trap from the center, call the shelter at 325-698-0085 to be put onto the trap waiting list.
The trap will only work if you can get the animal to go into it. To ensure this, review the following tips:
- Make a food trail that leads to the main course inside the trap.
- Scatter small samples of bait around the trap.
- Use suitable bait and a good location to further entice the animal.
The location of your trap will greatly determine its effectiveness. For example, cats may be trapped on top of a picnic table, while skunks may be caught underneath a table. Be sure the animal will not by close to any potential danger. Also, find a shady location during summer months, and have a cover for rainy days.
- Keep the bait fresh. Be sure ants and other insects do not consume the bait.
- Place the bait in safe containers. Be careful of sharp edges on canned food.
- Place water in the trap along with the food to keep the animal hydrated.
- Use species-specific bait:
- Armadillo - Earthworms, insects, grubs
- Cats - Cat food, fish, catnip, sardines
- Dogs - Dog food, rawhide bones, pork rinds, butcher bones
- Ground Squirrels - Bird seed, nuts, sweet apples
- Opossums - Apples, cantaloupe, sardines, cat food
- Rabbits - Apples, carrots, pea pods, lettuce, greens
- Racoons - Corn on the cob, cream corn, sardines, mackerel, over ripe cantaloupe, sweet apples, cat food
- Skunks - Chicken entrails, fish (canned or fresh), cat food, cantaloupe, sweet apples
- Squirrels - Nuts, sunflower seeds, a mixture of peanut butter and oatmeal with nuts, pecans in shell
Any time you trap a wild or domestic animal, you risk the possibility of injury, stress, or death to that animal. Depending on your particular situation, live trapping may not be your best solution. Consider first these suggestions to protect your home from nuisance animals:
- Do not feed wild or stray animals.
- Place your trash in covered receptacles, and wait until the morning of trash pickup to set it out.
- Screen chimneys and vents to prevent attic nesting.
- Spray fox urine or place ammonia soaked rags near problem areas to deter armadillos, opossums, raccoons, and skunks.
Also be aware that you will be legally responsible for the animal's health while it is in your care. Contact 325-698-0085 and ask to be placed on the trap list.